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Leather: Not just for furniture anymore

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Formerly a basic covering for recliners and sofas (or couches), leather has been “relocated” to walls, doors, shelves and even floors.

This natural material produces a sophisticated look that’s suitable for rustic, club-like or contemporary settings, “but not your traditional Colonial home,” said Christian Nadeau, president of EcoDomo, a Quebec manufacturer of leather surfacing materials.
Nadeau often sees leather flooring used in media rooms to give an intimate feeling, but some types can be tough enough for a kitchen or a well-traveled staircase.

Leather on surfaces is not a mainstream look, however, and real leather has traditionally been a high-priced luxury. But technology’s bringing prices down, thus enabling those on a limited budget leather design access (even with real leather). For example, Kaleen Leathers (Westchester, Ill.) is developing genuine leather panels. “The panels are die-cut, are applied to a rubber backing and then adhered to a wall or floor with a releasable adhesive, much like carpet squares”, said manager Frank Mullen. “The backing and the precise die-cuts simplify installation, and the low-tack adhesive means that you can even take the panels with you if you move (this process also reduces the cost of leather walls and doors).”

There’s tremendous progress being made with surfacing products using recycled or bonded leather (a manufactured product made from leather scraps-remnants from manufactured leather goods are pulverized; the resulting fibers are mixed with other materials and pressed into colored, textured sheets to look like real leather. A coating protects the product.)

Bonded leather flooring can be used in similar ways like a wood floor and even feels like walking on one (it’s not recommended for a full-size bathroom, but can be used successfully in kitchens, hotel lobbies, staircases and other high-traffic areas). And maintenance is the same as for a wood floor.
Expected life span is from 25 to 30 years!

Did You Know That…..

A dining room table’s style and shape affects the look of a room, according to www.houseplansandmore.com.

Sources: “Luxurious leather-Pushing The Decorative Envelope”-by Akron Beacon Journal-The (Sunday) Vindicator, Dec. 8, 2013

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